Tuesday, August 31, 2010



Czech Foreign Minister Opposes France’s Roma Deportation

Bulgaria in EU
August 28, 2010, Saturday

The Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has opposed the repatriation of Roma from France and voiced his concerns that the policy of the French President was made on racial grounds.

“The way in which France’s President Nicolas Sarcozy is chasing Roma citizens away is in contrary to the spirit and rules of the European Union. How could one not suspect the involvement of racist views,” Schwarzenberg said, as cited by the Czech daily “Lidove noviny”.

He has also expressed regret that the European debates on the Roma question are kept without the participation of the new EU member states, one of which is the Czech Republic.

“To lead these discussions without the countries where the problem roots is strange and wrong,” he said.

The deportation of Roma citizens was decided by Sarcozy in the end of July. Almost 8,300 Romanian and Bulgarian nationals have been expelled from France since the beginning of the year. Close to 10,000 were expelled in 2009.

French officials have said the deportations are part of a broader crackdown on illegal immigration.

The deportation has sparkled major criticism at home and abroad. Former French Prime Minister Dominique
de Villepin said Sarcozy’s policies had left a “stain of shame” on the French flag and were a “national indignity”.


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